• June 14, 2022
  • Posted by General Electric Credit Union
  • 2 read

What to Do When You’re Not Ready to Retire – But Your Spouse Is

As a couple, you and your partner have formed a united front to tackle life together. But what happens when one of you wants to retire and the other won’t be ready to follow suit for quite some time? While this situation can present challenges or come with special considerations, everything is doable with the right strategy and mindset. 


As a couple, you should discuss retirement goals at length prior to either of you saying goodbye to the workforce. This includes communicating the standard of living you want. Is the goal to maintain your current standard of living or simplify it to something more modest? Or maybe you’re both ready to enjoy the finer things in life. A bigger house, extravagant trips, and good food and drink may be on your wish list. 

Whatever the case may be, it’s important to look at whether your current retirement savings can meet those needs (and wants!). If they don’t, you may have to reevaluate what retirement will look like. Or the spouse who wants to retire may need to hold off so you both have time to pad your savings more. 

Health insurance

Medicare coverage kicks in at age 65. If your spouse wants to retire prior to that, it’s important to consider the healthcare implications of them doing so. Does your place of business offer health insurance, and can you add a spouse to your plan? How does your employee-offered insurance compare to your spouse’s? Sit down and go over how healthcare may impact your budget in the event your spouse retires. Doing so will help you both determine whether now is the right time for them to do so, or identify budget changes that may need to happen to move forward with the plan.   


Not immediately joining your spouse in retirement may impact their ability to enjoy this stage of life to its fullest. For example, many couples start traveling more in retirement. But if you’re still working, you may not have the time off to globe-trot alongside them. Your retired spouse will have to be understanding and adjust their expectations of retirement for the time being. They may have to spend more time on solo hobbies and activities, volunteering, or other endeavors. Or commit to solo trips until you’re able to join them in retirement. 

If your spouse is ready to retire and you’re not, the best thing to do is establish open communication about your finances. These conversations can be difficult to navigate, which is why many couples enlist the help of a financial advisor. 

A financial advisor can provide you with a holistic view of your retirement savings, offer recommendations on retirement income like annuities, and help you gauge whether now is the best time for your spouse to retire based on your wants and needs. As a member of General Electric Credit Union (GECU), you have access to Investment Services, available through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS).1 From Medicare Planning to retirement income planning, they’ll help you get your ducks in row so you can enjoy everything your Golden Years have to offer. Contact one of our CFS Financial advisors today to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. 

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